Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Hotels: The Spa Hotel

Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Realty -

In an interview with Palm Springs Life in 1964, legendary Palm Springs architect William Cody stated, "Coachella Valley really isn't the desert as it used to be. With air conditioning as we have it today in our homes, offices and automobiles, you can live as comfortably on the desert as anywhere else throughout the year. We have a plentiful water supply, clear skies and more daily sunshine than any place else in the country. All this means the departure from architecture of necessity which began with the primitive Indians who first inhabited Southern California. The Spaniards, who so very strongly influenced early development in the Southland, brought with them facets of environment which are still in use today.

"We find this influence in shade areas surrounding our present structures in the enclosed patio concept...which the Spaniards originally borrowed from Roman times. This concept is often used now to insure privacy, which our increased population demands, rather than as a need for defense. We must realize the past has always influenced architecture in every era of man's existence."

Cody was speaking of the direction of area architecture two years after the completion of The Spa Hotel in Palm Springs which was a design collaboration of architects, Wexler, Harrison, Cody & Koenig. Today, now called The Spa Resort Casino, this structure remains a downtown Palm Springs landmark very much a destination resort much as it was in the early 1960s. With very few structural changes through the years, The Spa Hotel is as functional today as it was when it was constructed. The Spa itself is still a favorite of both tourists and locals and that is why it is included in our series of Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Hotels.

Today The Spa Resort Casino is owned and operated by The Agua Caliente Tribe of Mission Indians and the hotel now offers Vegas style gaming in its detached casino structure. The Spa offers a fitness center plus many spa packages and treatments including the specialty, "Taking of the Waters." Built atop the location of the original bubbling springs for which the city is named, The Spa Hotel is an integral part of Palm Springs history and its mid-century modern design beckons design purists from around the world. Its central location makes it an easy walking distance from almost anything Palm Springs offers and the views from the recently redecorated rooms are amazing.

Real Estate in Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta

Comments (3)

Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

Randy, great post featuring a local landmark with a new life. We have very little mid century architecture here and I really enjoy seeing it and reading about it.

Mar 14, 2011 02:37 PM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Hi Randy: And they serve an incredible breakfast and lunch in the restaurant next to the casino.  A super place for business meetings.

Mar 14, 2011 02:41 PM
Randy Heinitz
Prudential California Realty - - Rancho Mirage, CA
Realtor - Selling Palm Springs: Itnulls So Sunny!

I love the history of this place and thanks for the comments. I always find it strange that our city doesn't emphasize that the actual "palm springs" are under metal grates on the road in front of this hotel.

Mar 14, 2011 04:43 PM